Monday, September 18, 2006

Library Buildings Survey - 1 in 4 fail Health & Safety Requirements

Twenty-four per cent England's public library buildings fail to meet basic Health and Safety requirements according to a "Library Buildings Survey" just published by the Museum's Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and seventy per cent fail to comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.
This shock finding is contained in a five-page* report compiled for the MLA by PKF Accountants & Business Advisers, and concludes that £760 million of expenditure is required to bring all libraries up to a "fit for purpose" standard.

A key failing of the PKF report is that while it breaks down the survey responses it has received by the type of local authority responding, it does not attempt to relate the number of sub-standard buildings to the type of local authority with responsibility for those buildings. So it is impossible to determine if the failure to maintain buildings properly is an urban or rural phenomena, or if the failure is spread uniformly across all authorities.

The full report is available as a pdf download:

(*The report is only 5 pages long including one page of recommendations, the rest of the 30 page document is taken up by appendixes containing summaries of the responses to individual questions, and a list of respondents etc)